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Watering Orchids With Ice Cubes: 3 Big Myths Busted By Research

March 16, 2023

Excited to learn more about caring for your new Just Add Ice® Phalaenopsis orchid, you scour the internet for orchid care tips. Some of your research on Google, Instagram and YouTube created doubts about watering your orchid with ice cubes:

Is watering orchids with ice cubes really safe?

Is it just a marketing scheme to get me to buy more orchids?

We've heard it all before. And we've known for a long time that watering with ice cubes is not only safe, but it's also one of the easiest ways to ensure you don't overwater your orchid.

And we have the research to prove it. 

Researchers at The Ohio State University and the University of Georgia published a study on the impact of watering orchids with ice cubes. Their watering study debunks the three most common myths about watering orchids with ice.

Myth #1: Watering Orchids With Ice Cubes Will Kill Them

The study compared watering orchids with ice to using a traditional watering method. Researchers monitored flower longevity, display life, leaf yield and root systems and found these results were the same in both sets of orchids. 

This means watering with ice had no negative impact. 

Our customers report they've kept their orchids alive for years due to their success with ice watering, and their plants have even rebloomed multiple times!


Myth #2: Watering Orchids With Ice Cubes Is Unnatural 

Orchids are tropical plants that thrive in hot, humid climates, such as areas of South America, Central America, Asia and Hawaii. Many of these orchids are found in the rainforest, where they cling to trees and capture the water that falls from their leaves.

Watering orchids with ice cubes mimics the slow drip of water from leaves in tropical climates where orchids grow. Although ice isn't part of an orchid's natural habitat, neither is your home! Orchids thrive outside of their natural habitat when we take good care of them.

Myth #3: Watering Orchids With Ice Cubes Is Just a Marketing Scheme

Some critics of the ice cube watering method have even suggested we're encouraging people to kill their orchid so they'll buy more. 

The truth is, one of the most common threats to an orchid is overwatering. Knowing this, we developed the ice cube watering method to make it easier for customers to care for their orchids and keep them alive longer by ensuring their orchid receives just the right amount of water — no more, no less.

Why Watering Orchids With Ice Cubes Works


1. The pre-measured amount of ice cubes helps prevent overwatering. Giving your orchid too much water is one of the quickest ways to kill it. Using ice cubes for your watering method takes the guesswork out of how much water to use, helping you give your orchid the exact amount it needs to flourish.

2. The “slow-drip” process helps the roots slowly soak up water. When the ice cubes melt, the moisture seeps into your orchid’s media and allows the roots to slowly take in the water they need. This prevents water from collecting in the bottom of your orchid’s pot. 

3. Using the ice watering method is easy to remember. Adopting the routine of giving your orchid three ice cubes per week simplifies the watering process and makes it easier to remember. You’ll know exactly what amount of water your orchid needs and when it needs it.

If you find that adding three ice cubes a week isn’t easy to remember, our orchid watering reminders have you covered. Sign up to receive our free watering reminder desktop calendar

No matter what conflicting information you've read online or heard on social media, rest assured that our orchid care resources and tips are based on research and years of experience. We're here to help your orchid thrive!